Building relationships through advocacy
Around the world, accounting and finance professionals are guiding organisations through a time of great change and opportunity — showing immense leadership.
Management accountants have been depended upon like never before. This is because of their problem-solving, planning, analysis, risk and data management skills, and business controls and systems expertise and knowledge. In all industries and types of organisation, we are making a significant difference to resilience and recovery.
The past year or so especially has been a very busy period for AICPA & CIMA's government advocacy teams, and I am proud of the strategic work they have been doing on behalf of members. They have dealt not only with the new challenge of how to help our global membership and students through a crisis the magnitude of which we have not seen in generations but also with Brexit matters affecting UK and European members.
Fortunately, the resources of AICPA & CIMA have allowed us to strengthen our advocacy efforts, and we can now take advantage of huge experience, new relationships, and new markets.
Here are a few of our successes in the past year:
- CIMA submitted a 40-point plan, Budgeting for Recovery and a Long-Term Economic Future for the UK, to the chancellor of the exchequer and the prime minister in November. It focused on measures to support businesses now and to create long-term sustainable economic recovery. Earlier, the UK government adopted 14 of the policy recommendations CIMA made to support SMEs and businesses dealing with COVID-19. Meetings were held with a government treasury minister to discuss our recommendations and the role management accountants will play in recovery.
- CIMA responded to the House of Lords EU Services Sub-Committee inquiry into the future impact of UK-EU relations on professional and business services, stressing the importance of mutual recognition of qualifications and freedom of movement for professionals for work. Two of our asks were picked up by the committee in its final report.
- In Ghana, a draft clause in a new legislative bill would have required all accountants in business to be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana). Thanks to our work promoting the removal of the key clause, it did not appear in the final bill. This is a great win for the Association and supports our members, the profession, and our business model in Ghana.
- When responding to the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships, the Centre for Policy Studies, an influential UK think tank, picked up on the Association's proposal to change the Apprenticeship Levy into an Apprenticeship and Skills Levy to help with economic recovery.
We continue to influence governments around the world as countries begin to rebuild their economies. Behind all of this is our strong belief that management accountants have an ever more strategically important part to play in rethinking those economies.
Finally, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to CIMA's outgoing President and Association Vice-Chair Nick Jackson for all that he has done in his year in office to champion and lead the profession, including his advocacy for responsible financial leadership. It has been inspiring to work with Nick — he has given many people plenty to think about.
I look forward to working closely with Nick's successor in promoting the fantastic work that our members are doing globally.
Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, is chief executive—Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing AICPA & CIMA.